You receive incoming messages in the chat pane on the right. You can close the pane if you want more room for content when you're not in a conversation - Podio will alert you about incoming messages and open the pane once you click a notification. You can open and close the pane from the upper right corner or with the keyboard shortcut "C".
You can go to a larger view of all your messages from the open pane via the inbox icon below your recent conversations. Here you'll also find tabs for viewing your unread and starred conversations.
Starting or continuing a conversation is as easy as clicking an existing one, or hitting the People tab to find a person to talk to. Messages are delivered in real-time. Push notifications for Android and iOS will let people know you've messaged them.
One-on-one conversations will be a continuing conversation. If you need to break out of that to write a message on something specific, just create a new message with a subject and this will be a separate conversation. Same thing goes for group conversations: These will always trigger a new conversation.
We'll notify you of new messages if you have the messages pane closed or if you are offline. Email settings can be set separately. If you are in a conversation, we suppress notifications, including push notifications to your mobile device.
Here's a tutorial video: